IBM Cuts Credit Unions Deal For Blockchain Services In $1.7 Trillion Industry
IBM and Denver-based credit union service CULedger, are to collaborate to develop new blockchain-based services for credit unions that globally have some 260 million members and over $1.7 trillion in assets. Improving customer satisfaction and building greater trust are the goals.
Overstock’s Medici Acquires Stake in Blockchain Banking Startup
Medici Ventures, the blockchain investment arm of Overstock, has acquired a 5.1% equity stake in blockchain banking startup Bankorus. Overstock said Bankorus’ blockchain platform allows individuals and institutions to “securely” buy, sell, store and lend digital assets. “Bankorus has built a revolutionary blockchain banking platform that dovetails nicely with Medici Ventures’ goals of eliminating middlemen, democratizing capital, and rehumanizing commerce by helping individuals access and control their own digital assets.” Founded in 2013, Beijing-based Bankorus has adopted the mission to unlock more than $60 trillion in traditional assets held by high-net-worth individuals and redirect it into cryptocurrencies. The firm aims to turn traditional and illiquid assets such as real estate, art, hedge funds and bonds into liquid digital assets through its security token marketplace.
With the new acquisition, Medici Ventures’ global portfolio of companies now stands at a total of 20. Medici also purchased a 29.6% stake in digital securities firm Chainstone Labs for about $3.6 million.
‘Facebook Coin’ Could Generate Billions in Revenue: Barclays Analyst
Facebook’s reported stablecoin project could be a significant moneymaker for the social media giant, according to Barclays analyst Ross Sandler. In a note to investors, Sandler says Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts could yield anywhere from $3 billion to $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021. To put that estimate in context, the Menlo Park, California, company brought in $40.6 billion in total revenue in 2017, with $39.9 billion from advertising.
Thai Stock Exchange Building Digital Assets Platform for 2020 Launch
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has confirmed it’s building a digital assets platform that it expects to go live next year. Saying it is “ready for digital transformation” it will work “closely and collectively” with the capital market to build a new ecosystem that would support digital assets. President of the SET, said that the exchange’s three-year strategic plan for 2019–2021 would focus on developing a digital infrastructure platform and a “one-stop” digital capital market. The institution added that the move is aimed to make investors’ experiences faster and more convenient, as well as “opening up new investment opportunities.” There will be full digitization of infrastructure, including paperless account opening process, electronic payment of stamp duty and direct-debit registration processes.
IBM Hints at Stablecoin Cross-Border Payments
The head of blockchain solutions for IBM, Jesse Lund, has hinted that bank-targeted stablecoins will be a major forthcoming development for the tech giant’s blockchain-powered cross-border payments solution. “More than a few banks around the world see tremendous business benefit to issue stablecoins in their native fiat currency,” he said. When asked how IBM’s solution compares to JPMorgan Chase’s forthcoming in-house, USD-backed “JPM Coin” stablecoin, IBM’s solution would be “somewhere in between” JPM’s exclusive, closed network asset. “It’s not a proprietary coin like JPMorgan’s solution, although I think what they’re doing makes a lot of sense for them. What JPM’s doing also adds tremendous validation to what we’re doing. But our view for stablecoins is really that they should be more broadly accessible and what World Wire seeks to do is to provide fungibility of digital assets across financial institutions.” “World Wire” refers to IBM’s collaboration with Stellar (XLM) and use of the network’s native asset in IBM’s cross-border payment network, Blockchain World Wire. IBM has also partnered with Stronghold, a Stellar-based asset, to create the Stellar network’s first stablecoin.
Azure Integration Opens Blockchain Firm Kaleido to 80% of Cloud Market
Kaleido’s software-as-a-service blockchain solution now works on Microsoft Azure as well as Amazon. That now gives Kaleido clients access to more than 80 percent of cloud infrastructure clients, with support for the top two providers of cloud services. According to the company, this means that potential future Kaleido clients don’t need to worry about which their business partners use. “Our customers’ digital ecosystems can now grow and scale wherever and however the participants require,” Steve Cerveny, Kaleido Founder and CEO, said in a release. The news means that Kaleido clients should have less friction adopting its products, because they don’t need to worry about persuading business partners to move from Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure to Amazon’s (or vice versa).